This fall we have been blessed with amazing weather! I hope that everyone is taking the opportunity to go outside for awhile each day! Nowadays we are spending more and more time inside, in front of technology. Admit it, you have an extra minute you pop on social media and check out the latest. However, now more than ever, it is important to get outside and re-establish a connection with nature, fill your lungs with fresh air, and take in some sunshine. There are a multitude of reasons to go outside. Businessinsider.com discusses multiple studies that show that time and time again that going outside can improve memory and creativity, help to fight depression, lower blood pressure, inflammation and fatigue.
Statistics on children and spending unstructured time outdoors are unsettling. According to www.ChildMind.org, “The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen.” Time and time again studies show that it is critical to the well being of humans to get outside, and connect with nature, not only for our health, but also to foster a sense of wonder and respect for the natural world. Doing so leads to the benefits mentioned above. Additionally, it is going to be increasingly difficult to teach our youth to care for and conserve our natural resources if that connection is missing.
Not sure where to start? Some outdoor activities include going for a walk, or riding a bike, fishing, gardening, reading on your porch, the list of ideas goes on and on! Encourage your kids to go outside and play. It IS okay if they are bored! Creativity stems from boredom. Take your kids for a nature scavenger hunt or explore the Black Swamp Nature Preserve on Fairground Drive. There are multiple walking trails that wind throughout woods and prairies. Try it for yourself – put down the phone and head outside. Be present in the moment and FEEL the benefits! You’ll be glad you did!